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Hola tonebuddies and fellow guitarists united against tendinitis!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce an exclusive opportunity for our community of classical guitarists: a "Two Week Intensive" course on "Effortless Left Hand Slurs" with the world-renowned guitarist Arturo Castro Nogueras!

 

This unique course is designed to provide in-depth insights into the correct way to do free and rest stroke left-hand slurs while keeping a relaxed and healthy position. Throughout the two weeks, Arturo will share his best advice for staying away from unfruitful tensions, and unnecessary musical accents, a way to build a solid technique and a smart interpretation, enriching your playing and enabling you to truly understand and convey the passion behind this beautiful musical technique.

During the course, participants will be immersed in the rich physiological and musical inner workings of left-hand slurs, while receiving personalized guidance from Arturo himself. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for classical guitarists looking to enhance their technical capabilities.

Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn from a true guitar maestro, and make sure to share your thoughts on the event name. We can't wait to see you at the Two Week Intensive with Arturo Castro Nogueras!

🎵 Happy slurring, amigos!

Details

  • Course Period: June 14th - June 27th
  • Optional check-In via Zoom: June 19th, 10am PST

Assignments

Part 1:

Watch Arturo's Introduction to Slurs and record yourself playing the initial exercises!

  • Hammer-On
  • Pull-Off (Pull-Down and Lifting-Up)
  • Feel the hand first and work through all finger combinations!

Part 2

Hello everyone! Here's my second video with more advanced exercises for improving your left-hand slurs!

  •  We do an exercise by Barrueco for improving finger independence during a fixed position and doing slurs. Keep it on the safe side and don't over do it! It's all about the feeling in your hand.
  •  Importance of putting down both fingers when you do a pull-off (the first and second note or in several notes' pull-offs then all the notes you are playing).
  • Another exercise taken from a piece recommended by one of our friends in the course. Scroll down to find the screenshot.

 

Hello everyone! Here's my third video talking about three of my favorite etudes for improving your left-hand slurs!

  • Carcassi: No. 4 Op. 60

  • Egúrbida: No. 1

  • Brouwer: No. 7

 

Hi everyone! Here's my last video for this TWI titled ''Effortless Left-Hand Slurs.''

In this video I talk about three etudes which are a bit more advanced, but done well do wonders for improving your left hand technique. (This video is a bit longer than the rest, so I added the time mark so you can go to each individual piece).

 

  • García de León: El Río (0'58)
  • Brouwer: No. 9 (6'00)
  • Villa-Lobos: No. 3 (12'14)
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    • David
    • David.39
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello Arturo,

    I made a video of my slurs to share. Can you see where I am going wrong, and what is working well so far? Thank you very much for any advice! - David

    Like 1
      • David
      • David.39
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you for watching and your recommendation. I will work on minimizing the pressure and energy. I also feel I get tension from the stretch between the fingers reaching the frets. I am not sure if that will get better or it is a hand size and flexibility issue.

      Like 1
    • David HI! Thanks for your reply. I think you can improve that with putting your hand closer to the fret board.

      Like 1
      • David
      • David.39
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you for the great videos, and the zoom meeting discussion. I enjoy how you invite questions and offer readily understandable explanations. Thank you also for the suggestion on my hand position. Did you notice that the problem most pronounced on the nylon strings, or more in general across all strings? I found the greatest improvement on the top E and B strings. I find tension building up progressively between my thumb and hand, and in the palm in general. I believe that I might be falling in to the trap you mentioned in the zoom meeting in which I increase the pressure on the finger on the lower note of a pull-off slur. The emphasis on returning to a relaxed position in this intensive is something I definitely will benefit from! Thank you.

      Like
  • I do not what happened but I typed this before and some how it disappeared. Enclose are two exercises I do. The first one  is Ex 24 where I hold down the "c" and hammer the "D'  the lift my finger off(pulloff). and let the "c" ring.  The "one " over that second "c"  confuses me. does it mean just pull off or strike it again?  On nest exercise Ex25 just the opposite and I can see that. From the "d" its a pull off to the "c" followed by a hammeron. Thanks for your time. I will, follow trhis with a video. 

      • David
      • David.39
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      peter hancock hi, from which technique book are the excepts taken? Looks good

      Like
    • David Hi David. I got this from a book that may not be around anymore. The website is "thisisclassicalbgutar.com" There is a newer version with the same name but the edition is newer. 2019. The title of the book is"Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, Arpeggios by

      Bradford Werner.  section 3 Improving slur technique. But like ,I said its not presented that way anymore.  If you want I can scan these and email them to you. I would need your email address. Mine is "[email protected]."

      Like 1
    • David  I miss spelled guitar in the internet address--sorry

      Like
    • David sorry again 

      i miss spelled  The url it is "thisisclassicalguitar.com"

      Like
  • Slur exercises

    Like 1
    • peter hancock Hi! Thanks so much for your video and for posting this exercises. This is very helpful. I feel the movement you're doing is correct, I would just advice on being careful with the position so the notes sound clear. You can observe this quite easily just by practicing in front of a mirror or recording yourself like you just did. About the little bump your finger, I'm sure you'll be able to find some creative way to work with your hands :) maybe using another finger or if you have to do a slur with finger 1 and 2 just use the same finger (1) for both notes, like a glissando. We use the tools that we have and we don't let things getting in the way of having fun while playing the guitar :) I'm curious to see your next video.

      Like
  • Hello Arturo. Here is a video of me playing the second exercise, and I also have a follow-up question in the video about extending the exercise.

    In addition, if you have time, I started working on a study by Ernesto García de León that focuses on slurs, especially double-slurs. I posted the score here too (it’s number 19, toward the end of the document). Do you have any particular thoughts about how my slurs here could be improved? Slurs from open strings to higher frets are particularly difficult for me. They can be very tricky to make loud enough, without going so loud that the strings slap. Any thoughts at all that you have about my technique would be greatly appreciated!

    • Eric Phillips Hi! Thank you so much for sharing both videos. I think the exercise on your first video sounds great. About what you say with doing bigger stretches, yes, you can always explore more possibilities. One of main things I like to do is when I'm learning a new piece, for example: La Catedral; you see that you need to improve slurs with fixed fingers, then what would I do is I design an exercise or search for one that allows me to do that easier. I practice this outside of the piece. You can apply this to any technical difficulty that you may have with any piece you're playing. Don't forget to relax your hands!

       

      About the García de León's etude: I didn't know this piece, it is very beautiful. Thank you. I think you're doing a terrific job, congrats. I'll add it to my next video so I can go into more details, but for now I would say try to practice this with your hand as relaxed as possible. That every movement comes from zero tension. Even practice taking a second or a relaxation break between the slurs. Do you understand what I mean?

      Like 1
    • Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you, Arturo, that makes complete sense. I look forward to anything you could say about the piece in your next video. William Kanengiser has a video lesson on the piece here on Tonebase, and I watched it on my morning walk today. Hopefully later, I can watch it with a guitar in hand.

      Like 1
  • Like
    • David
    • David.39
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I have a general (musicality-oriented) question about slurs on the guitar. On the violin, a bow change of direction makes written articulation more obvious in terms of the affect it will have on phrasing. I’m new to guitar repertoire and to careful listening of guitar performance. I can see where a left hand slur would make for legato notes in some cases where right hand plucking would be awkward or too slow. What would you say are the less obvious reasons for choosing legato as enacted by the LH over the RH?

    Like
      • David
      • David.39
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      David I have watched the meeting and I think the general question I asked has been answered in the specific cases that were discussed. It is my understanding now that the LH slur offers not only advantages in terms of speed (and other specific solutions to make a passage easier), but opens up the palette of timbre variety available. The choice on how to execute the LH pluck will also change the articulation (volume and articulation) so it is good to be able to control the level of vertical versus horizontal motion of the plucking finger. In very fast passages, where any rest/horizontal plucking motion would be impractical, the listener's ear often will create the illusion of constant volume, though, in reality, the vertical free lifting LH slur's notes following the initially RH-plucked note will be quieter. So there are a range of possibilities, and with experience, the possible sounds are expanded through mastery of LH plucking, and this requires the player to carefully listen and select a musically rational choice. In terms of the sheet music and interpretation of written slurs, is it generally true that in passages with notes of equal duration, a slur marking denotes a LH slur (since, otherwise there would be no point to writing a slur in, unless, of course, the slur marking is there to indicate a tie for a note to be held without plucking at all)? When a slur extends in an obvious way over a passage in which there is a more heterogeneous collection of note values, is it probable that the composer is implying legato in a phrasing sense rather than some particular technical RH/LH implementation, and instructing the player to connect those notes in a phrase by whatever means necessary? Although challenging, the written ambiguity seems to open up possibilities for creative expression and unique performances of the same piece.

      Like 1
    • David Hi! Thanks for your patience, I wanted to answer your question earlier. Yes, in a very basic way, it is just how do you want to say or sing that phrase. Watch any actor with a speech, any kind of musician or dancer, they are all articulating a message in a different way and the more control you have over your abilities to express this in the most sincere way that resonates with yourself, in my opinion, the better you are.

      Like 1
  • Here is an improved version of El Río Op 50 No 19 (Op 50 No 19) by Ernesto García de León.

    Like 2
    • Eric Phillips Awesome, thanks for sharing!

      Like 1
  • Hello Arturo. I know it’s the last day today, so you might not see this. I’m sorry, but I just watched your last video now.

    Thank you so much for all of your incredible advice! If I remember one thing from these two weeks for the rest of my life, it will be the word RELAX. After every slur, relax. I tend to be very impatient, and I want to play the whole thing right away. I see now what a recipe for disaster that is. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Like 1
    • Eric Phillips hi!! Thank your for your kind words. I'm glad this helps, the reason I repeat it so much is because I am like that too. So relaxing and breathing always helps haha. 

      Like 1
  • I enjoyed your two week program. I did learn  a lot. I will continue to practice using those 3 pieces you mentioned. Thanks again. Your presentation was one of them best I have taking part in I wish there was more time. 

    Thanks.

    Peter

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